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 2 Hurt, E.Okl.St.25.5 
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Rebounds Per Game
 1 Pope, SE Ill.14.0 
 2 Creighton, ASA NY13.2 
 3 Mackey, Daytona St.12.3 
 4 Simon, ASA NY12.2 
 5 Traore, Broward12.1 
Assists Per Game
 1 Hamlet, Motlow St.8.4 
 2 Perry, Bossier P.7.6 
 3 Key, SW Tenn.7.3 
 4 Webster, S.Plains7.1 
 5 Crawford, Connors St.7.0 

NJCAA brackets 2018:   Div.I   Div.II   Div.III
Texans Capture Fiesta Bowl Title - Jan 2, 2016

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Every season has its defining moments. For the South Plains College men's basketball program, one of those moments occurred on Wednesday night in Arizona as the Texans throttled Big Bend Community College 81-65 to capture the 2015 Fiesta Bowl Junior College Shootout championship. Sophomore guard Deontae North (6'3''-G) was named the tournament MVP after his 22-point performance against the Vikings in which he went 9-for-15 from the field and shot 50 percent from the three-point line. North scored 16 points in the first two games of the tournament against Williston State and Baltimore City, and knew this team was capable of rising to the level of competition they faced throughout the tournament. "Coming off the break I just wanted to come out here and set the tone for my teammates," North said. "I just wanted to come out here and try to be a leader and set a good example and win a championship. We wanted to attack from the jump and keep attacking at all times, and make sure we were in attack mode from the beginning and didn't get off to a slow start. "We had to buy in and listen to coach Green and finally start to accept the coaching he was giving us, and it's helped us become a better team over the past month. We're a really tight team and have a strong brotherhood, and our team is starting to become a family type atmosphere. We have to keep listening to coach Green and playing unselfishly, and if we do that the sky is the limit for us." Following two convincing wins over Williston State and Baltimore City to begin tournament play, the Texans would face a team in Big Bend with the ability to spread the floor and create spacing for open shots and clean looks at the basket. South Plains put that trend to a halt Wednesday night, forcing the Vikings to shoot an abysmal 33 percent from the field (20-59) and 20 percent from the three-point line (5-24). The Texans dominated the Vikings on both ends of the floor, out rebounding their opponent 44-21 on the glass while also forcing 13 turnovers and scored 32 points in the paint. Roberto Gallinat, who was also named to the all-tournament team, finished the contest with 14 points and seven rebounds for South Plains. Michael Wolfe (6'9''-F) and Ibrahima Diagne (6'8''-PF-95) combined for a total 17 points and nine boards for the Texans, while Diamante Langston (5'11''-G) and Che Bob each finished with six points. Montell McRae was a presence on the glass for South Plains throughout the tournament, hauling in seven rebounds, six coming on the defensive end against the Vikings. Taelin Webb (6'0''-PG-96) was once again able to come off the bench for the Texans and provide a spark for the offense, finishing the contest with seven points, three rebounds and two assists on the night. "I thought we played really well tonight and really well defensively at the beginning of the game," Steve Green said. "Everybody I put in made a very positive contribution tonight, and this was a great warmup for what lies ahead in the conference season. There's no doubt Montell McRae came back from the break a different guy, and the same thing for Roberto. "It's like they matured four months over a two-week span, and that happens a lot in junior college and with freshmen in particular. We played three different kinds of teams in this tournament that maybe prepares us for what lies ahead. We're beginning to play more unselfishly, and the more we do that the better we are, and I think from the beginning of the season until now we're 50 percent better because we share the ball more." All in all, the Texans proved to rise above the competition that was displayed in Arizona throughout the week and pick up their ninth consecutive victory dating back to their last loss on November 18. Now 11-4 on the season and 2-0 in conference play, the Texans will look to continue their momentum as they jump into the heart of conference play when they travel to Odessa on January 7.
Courtesy of:   

Jemal Smith
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